Whether you want to freeze dry green beans from your garden or from a can, storing freeze-dried food is smart and easy using the Harvest Right Home Freeze Dryer. Freeze drying is a great way to preserve food while maintaining the freshest quality, most nutrition, and best appearance. Read my thoughts on my Harvest Right Home Freeze Dryer to see the comparison between other food preservation methods.
Freeze Dry Canned Green Beans
We often buy food in bulk to freeze dry at home. The shelf life of canned food is usually very long and makes an excellent choice for storing. However, the cans are very heavy because of the water or juices as well as the can itself. Freeze-dried food is very light and can be moved easily or packed into a bag for a lightweight snack on the go. I will walk you through the process of using our Harvest Right Home Freeze Dryer to store a 101 oz (6.3 lb) can of green beans.
- Line the trays with parchment paper. (optional)
- Fill the trays with a single layer of green beans.
- Freeze the trays. (optional)
- Put the trays into the freeze dryer.
- Seal the green beans into mylar bags with oxygen absorbers.
Line The Trays With Parchment Paper
I always line my trays with parchment paper but it’s completely optional. Most food will slide right off of the tray once the freeze-drying process is complete. I line the trays to keep them looking nice and it makes clean up easy. I like the Reynolds Kitchens Unbleached Parchment Paper because it is compostable and works great for cooking all types of food as well as freeze-drying.
Fill The Trays With Green Beans
Put your green beans in a single layer on the trays. This allows the freeze-dryer to do its job more efficiently and lessens the amount of time the process takes. You can see that I have some overlap but they aren’t piled on top of each other. I wouldn’t recommend freeze-drying more than one large can at a time.
Freeze The Trays of Green Beans
This is an optional step that can speed up the freeze-drying process. I did not freeze the green beans before putting them into my freeze dryer. There are some foods that are necessary to freeze before, like eggs, but other foods are up to you. The drawback for me is that I usually don’t have room in my freezer to put 4 trays filled with food and if you freeze the food in a separate bag or container they stick together. So when possible I freeze on the tray but I don’t stress about it if I can’t.
Put The Trays Into The Freeze Dryer
I have one of the original freeze-dryers so chances are that my settings will be different than yours. Follow your user’s manual to run your freeze-dryer. Any of the Harvest Right Home Freeze Dryers are very user friendly so you probably have to push a button and walk away. The process will take about 24 hours to complete. The only problem I ever have is when the vacuum pump comes on and doesn’t get a good seal on the door. I just have to open it, wipe down the door and rubber lining and start it again.
Store Green Beans
My goal for this batch of green beans was long term storage so I chose to seal them in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers. I get my supplies from Discount Mylar Bags but you can also get them from Amazon. I haven’t used these Zip Lock Mylar Bags yet but I plan on trying them in the future. I recommend these 500cc Oxygen Absorbers. I like that they are in packs of 10 because once you open the package you have to get them into your bag and seal them quickly before they start to absorb the oxygen from the room and lose their effectiveness inside the bag. If you do have some leftover you can store them in a mason jar.
Wondering where I got the label for the bag? I cut the labels off of all of the 14.5 oz cans that I had in the pantry. However, you can just write on the bag what the contents are and the date that you sealed them.
Freeze Dry Fresh Green Beans
Fresh green beans from your garden, farmers market, or grocery store can be freeze-dried in the same way. The benefit of starting from fresh green beans is that they are going to have the most nutritional value and will probably be even cheaper than store-bought green beans. Knowing that you have the ability to freeze-dry your garden harvest will help in planning how much to plant at the beginning of the growing season.
25 Year Shelf Life
Food that is freeze-dried and stored properly has a 25-year shelf life. By investing in a Harvest Right Home Freeze Dryer now you are giving yourself peace of mind in the future. As I’m writing this, most of the country is under stay at home orders because of COVID-19. When everyone was running out to buy food, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper, we were taking inventory of our food storage. I am so incredibly thankful for the truck drivers, warehouse workers, grocery store employees, farmers, and everyone else who continues to work so that the food supply isn’t interrupted. I am also thankful that my family has been storing food so that if there is a disruption in the food supply we will not have to fight the crowds to get to food.
Enjoy Your Freeze-Dried Green Beans
When you are ready to enjoy your freeze-dried green beans they are simple to rehydrate. Add water and the green beans to a pan and heat. They taste and look exactly like they would have straight out of the can or straight from the garden. We even kept a bag with us to snack on at baseball games. You don’t HAVE to rehydrate your food to enjoy it. Think of the possibilities! Healthy snacks for all ages!!!